Pri­or­i­ties up­dated on quoll re­search

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

A work­shop ex­am­in­ing re­search pri­or­i­ties for the Pil­bara’s en­dan­gered north­ern quoll was held by the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife last week.

The north­ern quoll work­shop was at­tended by more than 60 par­tic­i­pants from Com­mon­wealth and State en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tors, re­source com­pa­nies, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tants, aca­demics and re­searchers and en­vi­ron­men­tal non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions.

DPaW as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of sci­ence Stephen van Leeuwen said par­tic­i­pants re­viewed and up­dated the Pil­bara North­ern quoll Re­search Plan, de­vel­oped in 2013.

“This meet­ing will build on two pre­vi­ous work­shops and fo­cus on what we have learnt over the pre­vi­ous three years and in what di­rec­tion this re­search will now head,” he said.

The north­ern quoll’s num­bers across north­ern Aus­tralia have de­clined in the past 50 years and the species is now re­stricted to five re­gional pop­u­la­tions in Queens­land, the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and WA.

There are few male north­ern quolls left in the pop­u­la­tion, as most un­dergo im­mune sys­tem col­lapse af­ter a com­pet­i­tive breed­ing sea­son, with fe­males left to raise the next gen­er­a­tion of young.

Dr van Leeuwen said key threats to the north­ern quoll in­cluded in­tro­duced preda­tors such as feral cats and foxes, cane toads and habi­tat loss or frag­men­ta­tion caused by bush­fires and land clear­ing as­so­ci­ated with re­source de­vel­op­ment.

“Pre­vi­ously we have iden­ti­fied five pri­or­ity re­search ar­eas for the north­ern quoll in the Pil­bara, so the work­shop will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to re­view our re­search ef­forts and out­comes, as well as iden­tify new or emerg­ing is­sues which may im­pact on the species and re­quire some level of in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

“The work­shop also seeks to con­sider novel and in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to un­der­stand­ing north­ern quoll ecol­ogy and to man­ag­ing the threats im­pact­ing on this an­i­mal.

“The de­part­ment is con­duct­ing a 10-year mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram of Pil­bara north­ern quolls, which in­cludes col­lect­ing eco­log­i­cal, ge­netic and habi­tat data, and iden­ti­fy­ing im­por­tant quoll habi­tat from re­gional sur­veys to un­der­stand where cur­rent and fu­ture man­age­ment ef­forts should be di­rected.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.